Sorry for the delay, but as anyone who has kids might know, things you intend to do tomorrow usually end up happening about a week later! And since I started writing this, I’ve added another hospital stay/surgery to the books. So, I’m finally back with Part 2 of Anissa Marie’s Birth Story: The Induction.
As you may remember, Part 1: The Diagnosis and Decision, left off with the doctor calling in an induction at 38 weeks, 1 day on Thursday, April 17. After gathering our hospital items and eating a “last meal”, we arrived at Northside Hospital right before noon and started the check-in process. Of course, this was all still a huge shock to us because we were expecting to have another 13 days (at least, since everyone was telling me I’d be late!) We finished up our paperwork at the Admissions desk and waited for a nurse to call us back. When she did, we were taken to room B5, which was a huge room with a full bathroom (plus bathtub, this will come in handy later in the story).
Once we checked out our new digs, the nurse told me to change into my gown and get in bed, and we started taking vitals, talking through my history, etc. etc. I got hooked up to an IV (my first one- and OUCH!) and she told me she’d be calling in the midwife to discuss the induction options. I didn’t even know there were options- I always thought Pitocin was the only way to induce. We ended up going with a different option, which was a medicine called Cervidil, which is a tampon-like insert, that is supposed to ripen the cervix and kick start labor. They put it in for 12 hours, and in those 12 hours your water should break and/or labor should start. I was told if it didn’t, they’d come in around 2 a.m., remove it and start the Pitocin. So that was the plan, and on we went. I was having contractions all through the rest of the day, but they weren’t bad and I was able to muscle through them. I was 3 cm dialated and 70% effaced, so things were looking good. As the night progressed, the contractions got worse but not bad. All our family came by to visit, and it was a good distraction to have company (because I still felt great at this point!)
By the time night came, it was clear that Baby R wasn’t going to make her arrival on the Cervidil alone. Since I wasn’t on Pitocin yet, I could still eat, so I think I had about 3 “last meals”. We had fun hanging out, eating, and guessing when she would come.
Then, around 10 pm, our first scare happened. I was hooked up to monitors on both the baby’s heartbeat and a contraction monitor, which the nurses could see from their station. They came in once and said I was having a lot of contractions- which was crazy to me, because I wasn’t even feeling them. They left, but rushed back in only a few minutes later- because of the Cervidil, I was having too many contractions, too close, and they weren’t allowing the baby to catch up- she needed at least a 1.5 minute break between contractions and they were less than a minute apart. Because of that, her heart rate was dropping, and that was NOT something we were ok with, even a little bit. Luckily, the doctors weren’t either. At that point, the room turned into a frantic mess. They flipped me over and immediately dug out the Cervidil (sorry for the graphics). They said the medicine needed to get out of my system asap. I kept asking, “Is her heart rate better yet? Did that do it?” The sweet nurse answered very calmly, “Not yet.” or “Not where we want it.” So of course, that was not what I wanted to hear, but she did a good job of helping me not freak out. To help her heart rate some more, they slapped on an oxygyn mask and made me flip into different positions to help relieve some of the stress on her. I ended up on all fours with a breathing mask, freaking out and asking if she was ok yet. Through it all, I was just watching Cele, trying to find comfort that everything was ok in his eyes. He was so scared, too. Neither of us knew what was going on or how it escalated from watching tv and talking to family to a cleared out room, tons of doctors and nurses and emergency procedures.
Finally, after a few minutes, both of our heart rates returned to normal. Our parents were able to come back in and see us, and that helped me feel better. Because the Cervidil was taken out around 10 p.m. instead of 2 a.m., they started the Pitocin earlier than planned, around 12 p.m. I was told to try and get some sleep (HA! With this excitement and nurses coming in every hour to check on me? Fat chance) and tried my darndest. Because the baby was still having trouble maintaining her heart rate, I was told I had to be on my side, making sleep even that much more uncomfortable knowing I couldn’t move.
I continued to labor the whole next day, Friday, April 18, but the contractions still were not painful. Again they checked me, and I was still at 3 centimeters. As it got to be later in the day, I was starving! The nurses were nice enough to order me a liquid diet of chicken broth, apple juice and jello (can I tell you how in love I fell with the hospitals apple and cranberry juices while I was there?!)